The Starter Beers
At some point, maybe at halftime, maybe after the first game, it will be time to dive into dinner. Course after course of food we don't necessarily like but feel compelled to eat in the spirit of the day will be brought out and laid before us. We think that the following few beers will go well with some of these dishes. Moist turkey or dry, fresh cranberries or canned, these beers will do right by you!
Pair with the Turkey
For the turkey, a malty Oktoberfest beer would do nicely to marry with the buttery and (hopefully) savory flavors from the herbs used. If you go this route, we highly recommend Short's Brewing Company's eclectic Noble Chaos Oktoberfest. It is a traditional Marzen-style beer brewed in March and released in September. If you can still procure some of this from your local specialty beer store, you are buying what I think is the best Oktoberfest beer available in Michigan, and it will pair deliciously with that beautiful holiday bird. A different yet appropriate direction you could go would be a Belgian Trippel, a rich and complex Belgian style pale ale. An excellent and affordable option for one of these is New Belgium's Trippel. They are a brewery out of Fort Collins, CO and are newcomers to the Michigan market. Their beer is tremendous and again, very affordable.
Pair with the Stuffing & Gravy
For the stuffing and gravy portion of the meal, we think a a rich brown or rye ale would go well here. The caraway seeds typically present in sausage (hopefully found in your stuffing) go nicely with these beers. A great example of this would be the Boffo Brown from Dark Horse Brewing Company, a malty and nutty brown ale that is also very mild and drinkable. Gravy and brown beer. Easy and delicious.
Pair with Potato & Vegetables
For the potato and vegetable course, the sky is really the limit. We would recommend not wasting a big and bold beer on this so go with a light pilsner, The Livery and Frankenmuth Brewing Company both have excellent version of these.
Pair with the Cranberry Sauce
For the cranberry sauce, something few people really like, we suggest the fun and very unique La Roja sour red ale from Jolly Pumpkin. This is a deep and rich sour amber ale that has earthy and dried fruit notes. It should pair well with the tart cranberry sauce and make this course a little more bearable than usual.
Pair with the Desserts
When you reach the time for dessert and are all but wiped out from the food, the visiting, and the Lions, reach for a warm and decadent stout or pumpkin beer to pair with your pumpkin or apple pie. A couple we like both come from New Holland Brewing Company. Their Ichabod Pumpkin Ale is arguably the best of its kind in Michigan and their iconic The Poet Oatmeal Stout goes well with any rich dessert. Reach for these at the end of that long day of over-indulgence.
We hope this simple guide gives you some help in choosing beers for Thanksgiving. It can be tough with the stress of travelling, cooking, and meshing & managing of all the family personalities. We suggest that you take it slow and realize what the day is really all about, being truly thankful for the all the wonderful people and things in your life, and toasting it all over some good food and beers. So, from our Beerhound family to yours, thanks for supporting us and have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. Cheers!